Estimating the Non-consumptive Value of the Hilsa Fishery in Bangladesh Using the Contingent Valuation Method Introduction Human lives and economics is directly or indirectly supported by a range of ecological functions provided by Coastal and marine resources

Estimating the Non-consumptive Value of the Hilsa Fishery in Bangladesh Using the Contingent Valuation Method
Human lives and economics is directly or indirectly supported by a range of ecological functions provided by Coastal and marine resources. World’s most of the countries food demands is covered by fisheries that plays an important role in addition to provide employment and income. Fish accounted for 16.7% of the global population’s animal protein intake, in capturing fisheries and aquaculture engagement was around 58.3 million people with 84% located in Asia (FAO 2014). Global landings of fish have increased at an average rate of 3.2% per year Over the past 50 years (FAO 2014). One of the world’s leading fish-producing nations, Bangladesh has contributed 4.4% to the country’s national GDP, 2.5% to foreign exchange earnings, and 60% of all consumed animal protein in 2011–2012 (FRSS 2013). In addition, a significant source of employment, the fisheries sector is with 11% of the country’s population directly or indirectly involved beside to its economic importance, (FRSS 2013). The biggest single-species fishery, the hilsa fishery contributes approximately 10% to annual fish production (FRSS 2014), and 1% to the country’s annual GDP (DoF 2014).

Non consumptive value
The definition of non-consumptive use can be defined as the use of any product without consuming it by any individual though other observation like whale watching, sight-seeing, or scuba diving. Additionally, individuals might value the mere existence of living ocean resources without actually observing them.

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According to oxford reference, The value of natural resources which are not diminished by their use, that do not require the valuer to have access to them or make active use of them. Also known as non?use value, passive use value, or existence value. Contrast use value.

Hilsa consumption as fishery
Hilsa migrate upstream to spawn in coastal rivers though they spend much of their life in coastal waters. While hilsa is broadly distributed from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, Bangladesh catches 50–60% whereas negligible proportions taken by Myanmar (20–25%), India (15–20%) and other countries (5–10 per cent). Considering Bangladesh only, about half a million people directly depend on the fishery and a further 2.5 million are indirectly involved in supply-chain activities such as processing, transportation and marketing. Hilsa has cultural and religious significance in the South Asian region. The people of Bangladesh and West Bengal in India, shortly Bengali-speaking people love fish spotted themselves the phrase ‘mache bhate Bengali’, or ‘fish and rice make the Bengali’. To support the phrase, hilsa holds the highest position among the rich biodiversity of the Ganges river system, and its importance is further emphasized through different dishes and their use in ceremonial festivals. So undoubtly hilsa holds important socially, culturally, and religiously to the Bengali people and people in many Indian states including Odisha, Bihar and Assam.

Non-consumptive value of hilsaHilsa is the most favourite fish of the people of not only Bangladesh, but also the West Bengal in India. It is of religious and cultural importance, forming part of Bengali festivals. Hilsa has been recognised as the ‘national fish’ of Bangladesh. Large hilsa fish are bought for engagements and pre-wedding ceremonies in some Hindu Bengali families. One such important occasion is the Jamai Sashti, when the son-in-law visits his prospective parents-in-law. A Jamai Sashti meal is never complete without at least one dish of hilsa, and it is often expected that the bridegroom will bring a pair of hilsa for the occasion. Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bengali New Year, is ceremonially observed in both Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal as a national day. Bengali communities celebrate Pohela Boishakh with a special menu of Panta-Ilish (fermented rice and fried hilsa).

The fisheries department expects around 500,000 tonnes of hilsa to be consumed every year, which has an estimated worth of Tk 500-600 billion.

However, experts now say hilsa has more worth besides its market price. They called it ‘non-consumptive value’.

A recent study, undertaken by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), in partnership with the World Fish Centre, said that hilsa also has cultural, religious, social and livelihood values. The study, funded by USAID, estimates this non-consumptive value at Tk 27.88 billion.

The study said hilsa claims 10 per cent of the country’s total fish consumption and contributes to 1 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Importance of estimating the non-consumptive value of the hilsa fishery
Numerous studies indicate increasing demand for fish protein of burgeoning human population has driven mass overfishing of both adults and jatka (juvenile hilsa) in the gill net fishery. Abundantly availability of hilsa in the 100 rivers of Bangladesh until the 1960s and 1970s, gradually decreased over 30 years to reach a low point in 2002 catching 0.19 million tonnes. This declination occured due to these factors:
The closure of migratory routes,
river siltation,
indiscriminate harvesting of brood stocks and juveniles,
use of fishing nets with very small mesh sizes,
mechanisation of fishing,
increasing numbers of fishers, pollution and
climatic variability.

Despite hilsa’s economic and cultural importance, such threats from overfishing are exacerbated by policymakers’ insufficient investments in restoring the fishery due to poor understanding of the fishery’s true value. So artisanal hilsa fishing communities needs better understanding to provide or receive valuable knowledge on coastal and marine ecosystems which is vital for well-informed policy.
Typically, non-use values are not captured by markets or precisely to say, non-consumptive values of artisanal and small-scale fisheries is not understood. This lack of knowledge of fisheries’ socio-cultural values has created poor accountability in national accounts. For decision making processes, such values are rarely factored which instead typically focus on short-term, produce-based commodities.

Thus, the study to estimate the non consumptive values of the hilsa fishery is mandatory to encompassed cultural, religious and sentimental values. Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) has been used to estimate the ‘willingness to pay’ of residents in Barisal Division for non-consumptive (socio-cultural, religious and sentimental) benefits of a hypothetically-restored fishery. The aim of this study is to estimate the non-consumptive values of hilsa fishery like Bangladesh which is a least developed country (LDC).

Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) for non-consumptive value estimation
The contingent valuation method (CVM) can be defined shortly as a survey-based method monetary value on something for which there is no market and therefore no price where non-use or non-consumptive values of small-scale fisheries fall into this category. In other words, CVM is a survey-based method where people are asked how much they are willing to pay for an improvement and/or how much compensation they would accept for the deterioration of a given ecosystem quality. The improvement or deterioration is the contingency (the hypothetical state), which the survey respondents are asked to imagine.

Maler (1974) sought first mathematical expression to extend standard welfare theory of price changes to changes in the supply of a public good.

Let, a consumer has preferences over n conventional market commodities (like groceries), subscription to internet service, a mobile telephone, and so on, denoted here
as X where,
X : X = {x1, x2, …, xn} …………………………………………………………..……………(1)
According to neoclassical economic theory, people have preference over both marketable and non-marketable goods. So it is vital to incorporate the consumer’s preference over a set of k other items (like public goods), expressing Q as:
Q : Q = {q1, q2, …, qk}………………………………………………………………………..(2)
Taking as an example of a person who wants to buy some rice and fish and also restore a beef stock that they rely on. If that person faces some budget constraint, s/he will be forced to buy something in order to afford something else.
Let assuming the consumer having exogenous disposable income y, which is to be spent on some or all n commodities. These can be bought for an overall price P in non-negative quantities at given, fixed, strictly positive component prices:
P : P = {p1, p2, …, pk}…………………………………….……………………………………(3)
According to Johansson (1991), the best choice lies on, rather than below, any budget constraint. Hence, one can write the utility function of the consumer as:
The utility (or happiness) can be obtained by consuming a certain marketable good (x) and ecosystem service (q). With respect to x marketable goods (subject to the usual budget constraints), consumers intend to maximise their utility. So the problem of utility maximization, can be expressed as:
maxx U(X,Q);
such that p*x ? y and Q = Q0………..………………………………………….………………..(5)
Champ et al. (2003) explained that people face two constraints for maximising utility.
the total expenditure on market goods cannot exceed income.
the levels of the non-market goods are fixed due to lack of controlling the level of ecosystem service by the consumer.
The (x) that solves this problem which depends on
the level of income (y)
the prices of all the market goods (P), and
the level of the rationed, non-market goods (Q).
Optimal demand function for each market good depends on these three elements, xi*= xi(P,Q,Y)
The vector of optimal demands can be written similarly, x*= x(P,Q,Y) where the vector now lists the demand function for each market good.

Inserting the set of optimal demands into the utility function, then
U(X*, Q) = v(P, Q, y)
Now, assuming Q (the level of environmental quality, the level of river water quality for instance) rises from Q0 (initial quality/quantity) to Q1 (improved quality/quantity) where prices and income remain fixed at (P, Y). So we can expect the person to be happier when the level of the environmental quality improves. Accordingly, the individual’s utility increases from:
U0 v(P, Q0, y) to U1 v(P, Q1, y) …………………………………………………….…..(6)
U0 =person’s initial utility before improvement
U1 =utility or happiness after improvement.
Maler (1974) defined compensating and equivalent variation measures for this utility change based on the welfare theory of price changes. The compensating variation () corresponds to the individual’s willingness to pay (WTP) for the improvement, and satisfies the following equation:
v(P, Q0, y) = v(P, Q1, y ? ) …………………………………………………………….………(7)
Basic idea behind is that if a person gives up for the improvement (e.g. a restored fish stock), then he/she is back to the original utility. Champ et al. (2003) added that could be positive or negative depending upon gain or loss of benefit.

Estimating non consumptive value of hilsa fishery
Estimation of the aggregate non-consumptive value of a hypothetically improved hilsa fishery is straightforward though the value estimates vary depending on mean or median values are used.

Using the mean value that reflects the Kaldor–Hicks potential compensation criterion, that says there will be a net gain in social welfare if those who have welfare gains can both compensate losers and still have a net gain for themselves. However, the median value may be a more realistic Measure where decisions are based on voting and people are concerns about the distribution of a programme’s benefits and costs.

It is also noted that mean values are higher than median values. Therefore, in some studies used as upper estimates and median values are used as an indication of the lower limit. Total estimated value is calculated by multiplying mean or media WTP (Willingness to pay) statements by the number of households at division and national levels. Average monthly WTP statements were multiplied by 12 to obtain annual estimates.

As for example, Barisal division level, the non-consumptive value of the hilsa fishery was estimated between BDT 651,760,000.00 (approximately US$8.3M) and BDT 1,384,186,162.67 (US$17.7M) per annum.

The most important single-species, hilsa fish has massive contribution to national economy (export earnings) and employment opportunities which is widely recognized. However, overfishing, habitat destruction, siltation, pollution and climate change making significant threats to it which are compounded by insufficient investment to restore the fishery, making the future of the fishery and the people who rely on the resource uncertain. This underinvestment is due to the total economic value of the fishery is not well understood. Here tried to attempt to estimate the nonconsumptive value of the hilsa fishery. While citizens generally recognise the cultural significance of the fishery, no monetary value has been put on this. Extrapolating the estimate to national level gives lower and upper estimates of BDT 13,128,598,840.45 (approximately US$167.5M) and BDT 27,882,080,597.39 (approximately US$355.7M) per annum respectively for a better-managed fishery which do not include the fishery’s use or consumptive values. Using a Kaplan Meier survival estimate, it has been established that respondents have considered their budget constraints and were acting rationally. It has also been explored that the distributional implications of benefits from an improved hilsa fishery by estimating income elasticity of WTP. This was found to be less than one, which suggest lower income groups are willing to pay proportionately higher for hilsa fish restoration than higher income groups that indicates low income segments of the society are more reliant on hilsa fishery, and therefore investment in hilsa fish restoration is pro-poor. However, such investments should be carefully designed to ensure equitable share of benefit.
Investments equivalent to only a fraction of the estimated value of non-consumptive benefits of hilsa fishery would bring about a desired change including: restoring critical habitats of the fishery, effective enforcement of the fishing regulation (as stipulated in the Fish Protection and Conservation Act- 1950), and providing incentives to local fishers to stop destructive fishing practices.